Yes. Spring Break is almost here. I pretty much consider it to already be here. I still have to go and teach my fourth graders tomorrow and I have to teach fifth graders for a bit on Friday..but....no more classes, no homework (at least for a few days), and no tests. Bliss. I plan to enjoy every minute of this break.
On Friday afternoon I will be leaving to go to Panama City Beach, FL and I am so so excited. Now, to most people...PCB is simply a beach...a nice vacation spot....a party place. But..to me, it is a city filled with probably some of the greatest memories I have ever had and definitely a place that I hold dear to my heart. I spent two entire summers in PCB. To most, this probably sounds wonderful and it was. Don't get me wrong. They were crazy, tough summers that stretched me and taught me so much. I think I have mentioned before that the reason I was there was for Summer Beach Project. It is a project through a ministry called Campus Outreach. I was encouraged to go my freshman year and then after my sophomore year it was simply a no-brainer that I would go back. Let me take you back and share some of the firsts that I experienced at SBP 2007 and 2008.
First of all...my luxurious home for both summers was....
Let me tell you...one room, 6 girls, one bathroom. Talk about a challenge! Plus....I mean....you can't see the room but just look at the name of this hotel...oh wait....I'm sorry, "MOTOR INN." Yes, this is where I stayed. I could stop here and give you a list of things I learned just through my living conditions. :) Don't get me wrong..a hotel with about 100 college students living in it was also unbelievably fun!
Secondly....I also had some pretty great jobs while I was there as well....
Summer of '07=Burger King Summer of '08=Chick-Fil-A
Busy? Challenging? Humbling? Absolutely. More fun than I could ever imagine a job being? Absolutely! I would not have changed where I worked for anything!!
In 2007 I was able to look into the future and see what I would look like in 50 years. :) Anndddd....in 2008 I became one of Jesus' disciples and grew a beard. Okay...just kidding but we had a lot of fun dressing up like this.
I learned to swing dance! Oh goodness...this is a skill that I will be forever grateful to have. Okay...actually...my swing skills pretty much can only be credited to this guy in the picture with me. Meet my dear friend, Caleb Bridges aka "King of Swing." He is a stud and makes me look good when I dance with him!
In the summer of 2008, in addition to growing in my relationship with the Lord I also began a relationships with this special guy and began to fall in love. Sorry...don't mean to be mushy but this was kinda a big part of this summer. I learned a lot about him and a lot from him. I watched the Lord stretch him and teach him so much that I know contributed to the man he is today and the man he will continue to become.
Mostly, these summers were filled with friendships that I will cherish forever. Seriously, I treasure the time that I spent working, talking, raging, LAUGHING, praying, and growing with each person.
^One of my closest friends thanks to SBP and South's group from 2007^
All I can say is WOW! Far too many memories were made with this girl. I love you Brynn!
^My roomies for the summer and my sweet discipleship group^
But above all other things...I grew in my relationship with the Lord. I learned to study God's Word in ways I never knew. I was fed so much Scripture and so much truth. I learned how to serve when it is tough. I learned how to have grace with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I was shaped and molded and stripped.
So as I said, Panama City Beach might be just a place to vacation for some...but to me...it is a place where I met so many friends, made countless memories, and a place where the Lord challenged me and I can't wait to go back for a few days! :)
This was long, tedious, and quite possibly uninteresting for some of you. Forgive me as I strolled down memory lane. Have a good spring break (those of you who get one!)